By Vanessa

White River, which is 40 kilometres from Nelsparta. This small town is the home of one of the upcoming bands in the Lowveld, Face Jackson. These guys who have been gigging more or less for two years grasping the attention of the fans.

Photo supplied by Face Jackson
Face Jackson
(photo: Facebook)

Face Jackson made a huge impression at the Road To STRAB party earlier this year and since then you can catch them gigging at popular venues around White River and Nelsparta. Face Jackson is also the opening band for Woodcrock, which will be held at the famous, Blue Moon. The band is made of Jimmy Vincent (guitar & vocals), Joss de Villiers (bass & vocals), Micheal “Money” Vincent (guitar & vocals), Riccardo Da Naya (vocals, harmonica and producer), Justin Behrendt (drums), Ross Culverwell (artist) and Zain Valley (sound engineer).

STM: Face Jackson – the new name on EVERYONE in the Lowveld’s lips! Please tell us where the name comes from?

FJ: Yoh, I didn’t know we’re on everyone’s lips…

Riccardo: Uh it’s an inside joke so you won’t get it. Sorry. Just kidding.

Money: It’s kind of like a nickname we made up for a friend, but he doesn’t know about it actually. We came up with it while we were stuffing around at Sabie Tube Races and decided it would be a great band name.

STM: “We’re starting a band, baby. We’re starting a band!” Where did it all begin?

Joss: We started playing together a couple of years ago just jamming. Jim and I (Joss) started doing open mics at Stoep a few years ago, but I would say the focus got more real in early 2016. And now even more so.

STM: How long have you guys known each other?

Money: I’ve known my brother my whole life… Joss, I met in school in 2008 and Justin round about the same time, but I didn’t really know him. Ricci and I actually knew each other in prep school but, like Justin, I think we’ve gotten to know each other properly in recent years.

STM: Who does the songwriting and what do you mostly write about?

Money: Someone usually comes up with a concept and then everyone (depending on who’s around) will add a bit and the best parts are put into the final track. Ricci does all the producing. With my brother and myself being away so much, I would say a lot of this has fallen on Ricci and Joss. But we’re in the process of also setting up a system of using the internet to be able to add our bits, no matter where we are in the world.

Ricci: I will usually start by composing a simple 9 bar foundation to the song either with drums and bass or drums and guitar or whatever really and then Joss, Jimmy and Mikey will step in with their experienced guitar playing skill set and we will progress the songs together from thereon.

STM: What are your current album plans?

Money: We actually have two little concept albums out on SoundCloud, 4 tracks each. Check them out.

Ricci: We are currently working on an instrumental beach feel vibed album called “The Eventual Coastline Journey” and we are nearing completion perhaps another two songs to go, we still need to decide…But we have also decided to include more lyrics in our music so after “The Eventual Coastline Journey” we will be working on an album in which each of our band members will have a song to sing.

Photo supplied by Face Jackson
Face Jackson
(Photo supplied)

STM: In a perfect world, you’d want to be rocking full time. Alas, nothing’s perfect. So, what are your real jobs?

Money: I’m currently studying mechanical engineering at Wits. Should be done at the end of next year though.

Joss: I work as a barrel monkey at a jazz café. Otherwise, I’m an intern teacher at Penryn Prep moulding the minds of the future.

Ricci: One of my brothers (Don) and I have opened up a sustainable hydroponic installation company and I’m also working on a few other side projects, some with my girlfriend Mieke.

STM: Who inspires you? Who influences you? Who are your musical gods?

FJ: There are so many, I won’t be able to name all of them. Basically, people who make great music. You also go through phases though… but a few examples for me include Mark Knopfler, Bob Marley, Sublime, J J Cale (that’s a big one), most blues actually, Jazz, Surf rock, most reggae actually even old school hip-hop and modern hip-hop instrumentals… ja it’s too difficult to name everyone.

STM: Band practice. NECESSARY! How often and where does this happen? 

Riccardo: When we’re together, and we don’t practice with the drums all the time, we just do it at each other’s houses as often as possible. Otherwise, when Justin joins us on the drums we use his storage unit in Rocky Drift.

STM: When you’re not gigging, what do you do for fun?

Money: I like to get outdoors if the weather is lekker. Mostly South African things, braaiing, driving places, going to festivals and generally socializing with friends.

Joss: Jamming, practicing, music fest. All the nature times are also great! Talking shit is one of my favorites.

Ricci: Music Festivals and events, and just general road tripping or gatherings with a great group of friends/family we are honoured to have. 

STM: Name your favorite bands/artists? (3 each)

Joss: Fat Freddy’s Drop, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tame Impala

Money: Mark Knopfler, Bob Marley, J.J. Cale

Ricci: Eyedea, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors

There’s just too many to name.

STM: Where do you see Face Jackson in 5 years’ time?

Money: If we’re all in the same spot hopefully making and playing music, otherwise at least making music and sending it to each other from around the world.

Joss: Doing a tour overseas would be pretty epic. We’d like to have a much bigger repertoire by that point.

Ricci: “Celebrating the 5th anniversary of this question”.

STM: What can people expect from one of your gigs?

Joss: We practice pretty hard, so generally we’re as tight as a nun’s handshake.

Ricci: A Fucking PAWTY!!! But also some really chilled times depending on the set.

Money: I like to think that we’re quite professional and that people will enjoy it. They’ll definitely make new friends with all of our friends in the crowd and hopefully with us too. 

STM: Is there a specific demographic of people you aim to entertain?

Money: Not at all. The more the merrier. 

Ricci: Not really, cause we aren’t really doing this for other people it’s more for ourselves although we do get immense joy knowing that people enjoy our music which obviously, in turn, means we will continue making music. We don’t look to address specific people, like Jimi Hendrix said, “Why you gotta box things in?”

STM: What collaborations would you like in the future? With who?

Ricci: We’re part of a collective called Interdependence Entertainment (I.E.). You can check it out on YouTubeFacebook etc. We collaborate within the collective. There are artists from Spain, Canada, The U.S and more. Not just musicians either, artists, jewellers, photographers etc.

It would be great to play with as many South African artists as possible as this would be a massive learning opportunity. 

STM: Please tell us the dynamics of having a band. How do you manage to work together?

Money: We were friends before and that hasn’t changed. 

Joss: Yeah, luckily we’re really good friends. I think the most important thing is to throw your ego aside. It’s about making a good sound, not who can make the most sound and sit in the limelight. So that helps.

Ricci: Honestly we don’t like to take life too seriously which allows us to have a lot of fun with one another so all in all I’d say the chemistry of the band is simply great.

STM: What would be your ultimate dream gig?

Money: One of those gigs, it doesn’t matter where it is, where the place is packed with awesome people and they’re all waiting for us to play. And then we do, and it’s so tight. It would also be great if this became a trend.

Joss: Agreed. I’d love to play Oppi, but otherwise, I love intimate gigs where the crowd is right in your face.

Ricci: Probably a long tour which wouldn’t be one gig but rather dream gigs.

STM: Please describe your style of music to us in your own words.

Joss: You can call us Johnny Genre skipper. We play Reggae, Jazz, Trip-Hop, Blues.

Money: Our original music is quite chilled actually. It’s sunny morning and afternoon music.

Ricci: Blue Instrumental with a jazzy aesthetic and an alternative reggae backbone.

STM: Where do you find inspiration?

Money: Besides other musicians, I think it comes from all your interactions with the world. It’s kind of like an opportunity for you to create a moment. So you think about how you would like to make others feel.

Joss: Every time I see a live act I’m inspired. Also, after completing a song I just feel like making more.

Ricci: I find most of my personal inspiration in nature, certain people and in music but in regards to our music it’s always inspiring when the guys and I have a “musical moment” and also when we receive feedback from people who’ve enjoyed our music. It always gives us a reason to pursue the musical life.

STM: Tell us about the Woodcrock gig. Are you nervous, excited?

Ricci: Eh! Eh! EH!!! Yeah, this is going to be wild!

Money: I am flippen’ excited! I’m also very grateful for the opportunity.

Joss: Owwwwwww, Man! I am excited! Really keen to share a stage with all the big names.

STM: Do you think that playing at Woodcrock will open doors for you? What would you like to see spawning from this gig?

Money: Well there are a bunch of big names playing there, and it could possibly be the largest amount of people we’ve played for. So, ja, I think it could help us with exposure. I’d really like us to play the best we can, and make everyone there feel good. 

Follow Face Jackson on social media:



Sound Cloud


Catch Face Jackson at Woodcrock 12 taking place on the weekend of 25 – 27 August at Blue Moon, Nelspruit. Along with Jack Parow, Klopjag, Soil 7t7, Cutting Jade, Tidal Waves, Crimson House, Feed The Wolf, After Robot, Akkedis and much more.

Buy your tickets for Woodcrock 12 online from Quicket or at The Pub (10 Jones street, Nelspruit) or from us at Small Town Music 

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.